The Snowmageddon

February 06, 2010  •  Leave a Comment

Lincoln Memorial covered in snowLincoln Memorial covered in snowIn the 2009-2010 winter season, the Washington, D.C., metro region got hit with three major blizzards, breaking the 111-year record for the most snowfall in the metro region, exceeding the last record set of 54.4" in the 1898-1899 winter season. In 2009-2010, Washington National Airport received 56.1" compared to 15.2" average; 77.0" for Baltimore compared to 18.2" average; and 73.2" at Dulles International Airport compared to 21.2" average.

Each of the three major snowstorms had a nickname. The first was the Snowpocalypse, which dumped about 14 inches of snow on the Capitol, just days before Christmas. The second, in February, was the Snowmageddon, with 8 to 20 inches. Snowverkill occurred only days later, dropping another 14 inches on the Capitol.

The Snowmageddon and Snowverkill shut down the Capitol completely. No cars could travel on the roads, the metro shut down, and restaurants and stores closed. The city became quiet... and beautiful. This image of the Lincoln Memorial was taken during the Snowmageddon.

On Saturday, February 6, 2010, Washington, D.C., got hit with Snowmageddon, the second major storm of the 2009-2010 winter season. I had thought that the Christmas storm was bad. (Just before Christmas, the Snowpocalypse dumped 16 inches of snow on the metro region.) But on February 6, Snowmageddon slammed us with another 18 inches of snow. Some areas near DC got as much as 33 inches in one day! And just when we thought things were already absurd (remember we only had one storm last year and all the snow melted by the afternoon), Snoverkill hit the region only 5 days later, dropping another 10 inches of snow on us.

United States flag and Capitol dome pelted with snow, the first day of the Snowpocalypse, a storm with record snowfall that hit the Washington metro region in 2010.
Snowmageddon began Friday night and continued Saturday morning and throughout the day. With this much snow and the historic nature of the storm (just Snowpocalypse and Snowmageddon together pushed the District past its record snowfall for one season, which was set way back in 1898), I just had to go out and take some photos. I began taking photos of the Hill around and near Eastern Market.

Eastern Market, the first day of the Snowpocalypse, a storm with record snowfall that hit the Washington metro region in 2010.

The District couldn’t handle the snow. Businesses, bars, and restaurants all shut down.

The Hawk 'n Dove bar on Capitol Hill, the first day of the Snowpocalypse, a storm with record snowfall that hit the Washington metro region in 2010.

Most of the streets were uncleared. It was impossible to drive anywhere. Sidewalks were piled high with snow. People resorted to walking in the middle of the street. Some took to skis.

And despite the freezing temperatures and continued snowfall, many DC residents decided it was time to play. A huge snowball fight erupted on the Mall.

Snowball fight on the Mall during the first day of the Snowpocalypse, a storm with record snowfall that hit the Washington metro region in 2010. Snowball fight on the National MallSnowball fight on the National MallIn the 2009-2010 winter season, the Washington, D.C., metro region got hit with three major blizzards, breaking the 111-year record for the most snowfall in the metro region, exceeding the last record set of 54.4" in the 1898-1899 winter season. In 2009-2010, Washington National Airport received 56.1" compared to 15.2" average; 77.0" for Baltimore compared to 18.2" average; and 73.2" at Dulles International Airport compared to 21.2" average.

Each of the three major snowstorms had a nickname. The first was the Snowpocalypse, which dumped about 14 inches of snow on the Capitol, just days before Christmas. The second, in February, was the Snowmageddon, with 8 to 20 inches. Snowverkill occurred only days later, dropping another 14 inches on the Capitol.

The Snowmageddon and Snowverkill shut down the Capitol completely. No cars could travel on the roads, the metro shut down, and restaurants and stores closed. In the midst of it all, several hundred people gathered on the National Mall for an enormous snowball fight.

The storm turned the Mall into a winter wonderland.

Merry-go-round in front of the Smithsonian on the Mall during the first day of the Snowpocalypse, a storm with record snowfall that hit the Washington metro region in 2010.

The Constitution Garden Pond looked particularly beautiful.

View of the Washington Monument from the Constitution Gardens Pond during the first day of the Snowmageddon, a storm with record snowfall that hit the Washington metro region in 2010.

I took many photos of the Mall on Saturday, but after wondering around the Hill and the Mall for 5 hours in a snowstorm, I got cold, tired, and hungry. So, I set out for home. As I walked home, the storm subsided and the sun began to set. I then encountered some of my best photo opportunities of the day.

Here are two of my favorites of the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin.
Washington Monument at sunset reflected in a snowy Tidal Basin

I found this view of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum stunning.

A snowy Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at sunsetA snowy Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at sunsetIn the 2009-2010 winter season, the Washington, D.C., metro region got hit with three major blizzards, breaking the 111-year record for the most snowfall in the metro region, exceeding the last record set of 54.4" in the 1898-1899 winter season. In 2009-2010, Washington National Airport received 56.1" compared to 15.2" average; 77.0" for Baltimore compared to 18.2" average; and 73.2" at Dulles International Airport compared to 21.2" average.

Each of the three major snowstorms had a nickname. The first was the Snopocalypse, which dumped about 14 inches of snow on the Capitol, just days before Christmas. The second, in February, was the Snowmageddon, with 8 to 20 inches. Snoverkill occurred only days later, dropping another 14 inches on the Capitol.

The Snowmageddon and Snoverkill shut down the Capitol completely. No cars could travel on the roads, the metro shut down, and restaurants and stores closed. The city became quiet... and beautiful.

In this image of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at the end of the Snowmageddon, the storm has just broken, the snow has stopped falling, the clouds are parting, and the sun is beginning to set.

With the exception of the few photos I took on my way home at the end of the day, most of my photos from Saturday were solid white, with a white sky over a white landscape. The bleakness of the photos provide some drama, demonstrating the severity of the storm. However, it would have been nice to get some more color.

On Monday, the snow still blanketed the District, but the Sky was blue and the sun was shinning. I decided to see if I could get some good sunset pictures of the Capitol. So, once again, I set out in the cold to stand knee deep in snow for a couple hours as I watched the sun slowly set over the district. And I’m glad I did. Here’s one of the Capitol at dusk:

Dusk befalling a snow-covered Capitol after the SnowmageddonDusk befalling a snow-covered Capitol after the SnowmageddonIn the 2009-2010 winter season, the Washington, D.C., metro region got hit with three major blizzards, breaking the 111-year record for the most snowfall in the metro region, exceeding the last record set of 54.4" in the 1898-1899 winter season. In 2009-2010, Washington National Airport received 56.1" compared to 15.2" average; 77.0" for Baltimore compared to 18.2" average; and 73.2" at Dulles International Airport compared to 21.2" average.

Each of the three major snowstorms had a nickname. The first was the Snopocalypse, which dumped about 14 inches of snow on the Capitol, just days before Christmas. The second, in February, was the Snowmageddon, with 8 to 20 inches. Snoverkill occurred only days later, dropping another 14 inches on the Capitol.

The Snowmageddon and Snoverkill shut down the Capitol completely. No cars could travel on the roads, the metro shut down, and restaurants and stores closed. The city became quiet... and beautiful.

In this image, taken just days after the Snowmageddon, dusk falls on a snow-covered Capitol.


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